Monday, April 16, 2007

The Hard Men

M-B-M Spring Classic report as if read by a weeping Phil Liggett:
Only two days before, snow and high winds had threatened to turn the Madison-Basco-Madison Spring Classic into a suffer-fest verging on the European conditions it was patterned after. But two days of sun and warmer temps melted the snow and dried off a major part of the course leaving the M-B-M cyclists a slightly more forgiving suffer-fest. They gathered at Orton Park riding a myriad of bikes ranging from full on cyclo-cross to single speeds and fixies, from 26" to 29' to 700c, from spendy customs to dumpster diver specials, but they all had one thing in common- they came to ride! These plucky Americans, transplanted Canadians and men with no countries were all Belgian this day and with a parade lead out of park, the flag was dropped and the race was well and truely on! The first part of the course proved to be possibly the most difficult and nerve shattering of the entire race with alley cat sensibilities put to the test. The riders scattered to the wind in small groups trying to find the quickest route through the city and out to the trail head. Some took bike paths through parks and arboretums, others took to the streets defying traffic, all cursed the Kitten Master including the Kitten Master himself! Jesse said he had taken the long route yet still managed to to be in the top four by the time they hit the trail head. Caffiene Powered Tim took advantage of a passing pick up truck bed and latched on for a good half mile pull which left race officials scratching their heads (the flyer did say the race was part alley cat so who were they to argue?). Otherwise the riders were strung out over the abandoned railroad bed course each living with their bike choice as best as possible. Some rode in packs, others ran solo, the jarring terrain taking its toll with no descrimination for any. Where was help? Where was help? There was no help. The last offroad section before the paved two mile Basco turn around had wheels plowing muddy furrows and riders truely questioning if they had the stuff to make it back unbroken. There was an amazing team effort between Nine and Cory, each pulling on their respective road and offroad strengths leading the first half with Jesse closely following, all his Northwoods cunning being utilized. This sunny day had also brought out other Saturday afternoon cyclists enjoying a nice ride on the county roads, many who were startled to suddenly see mud covered, sweating, glazed eyed riders darting out from the weeds and woods, across roads and then head right back into the muck again. This sight was repeated in Madison as the riders came back looking as though they had been mysteriously dropped onto the pristine city streets after rolling around in some distant muddy French ditch. The return to Orton Park saw a velodrome finish lap around the park with Cory and Nine finishing together as first and second as Jesse took the the third place position after holding onto a hard fought first place for much of the offroad return trip. All in under two hours! Ben, Ronko, Matt and Caffiene Powered Tim followed shortly thereafter and the rest came in under three hours. 38 miles of hell had been conquered Belgian style with dirt in the eye, mud in the teeth and fire in the heart. Chris, Jason, Nine, Cory, Caffiene, Jesse, Ben, Zack, Erik, Phil, D*Pow, Nils, Ronko, Frank, Matt, James, Ira, Joseph and the Kitten Master. The hard men had prevailed.
Big thanks to Revolution, Downing Distributions, Stephan Berggeron and MacLabs for prizes and awards.
For more detailed race reports go to:


Blogger P-lip said...

At one point, D*pow was describing at length how the drying trail was actually stickier and sucking our energy more than before, all the strength I had was mustered to slur through gasping breaths, "I think that sucks."

9:15 AM  
Blogger ronko said...

Great race. Cant wait for the 100k route.

9:17 PM  
Anonymous the kittens said...

thanks Ronko. Glad you came out for the race. The H8TR 100 is in the early planning stages, but we'll try to make it interesting.

7:52 AM  
Anonymous Tim said...

Sunday I had stiff legs, but not sore legs. So either I didn't ride hard enough or the course was too easy. Or maybe too much tailgating?

Oh hey, wanna go to Platteville XC/TT Saturday morning?

10:57 AM  

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